Culture

Israel goes back 4,000 years in ‘attempt to divide and rule’ its Arab minority

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's move - at least bureaucratically – dovetails with his government’s recent efforts to treat Christians as separate from Muslims
Getty Images

Hardly anyone in Israel can speak 4,000-year-old Aramaic. Now, the Israeli decision to recognise “Aramean” as a distinct nationality in the country’s population register is fuelling the ire of Israeli Arab leaders, who accuse the government of inventing a category of peoplehood to “divide and rule” the Arab minority. The Interior Minister, Gideon Saar, signed an order earlier this week ... Read More »

Jesus Was Crucified Because Disciples Were Armed, Bible Analysis Suggests

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Jesus may have been crucified because his followers were carrying weapons, according to a scholarly analysis of New Testament books. Dale Martin, a professor of religious studies at Yale University, says that this aspect of stories about Jesus, as told in the gospels, has received too little attention, but could alone explain Jesus’s execution and also show that the man ... Read More »

Futuristic “Exosuit” Helps Explore Ancient Computer Shipwreck

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The ancient computer device, called the Antikythera Mechanism—not to be confused with the world’s first “iPad” (see “Ancient ‘iPad’ Uncovered in Byzantine Shipwreck“)—is an astrological clock dating to the second century BCE. A highly complex device used to track the motion of the planets, it features at least 40 bronze cogs and gears and would not be matched by later Europeans for ... Read More »

Iranian photographer returns €50,000 prize

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A row has erupted between the Paris-based Fondation Carmignac and the Iranian artist Newsha Tavakolian, who stepped down as the winner of the foundation’s photojournalism award and returned the €50,000 purse. Tavakolian says the organisation’s founder Edouard Carmignac interfered with her work, while the foundation argues that she did not respect the terms of the prize and has cancelled a ... Read More »

ISIS Cuts Art, Music, and History Education in Iraq

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The school year began September 9 in Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-occupied Mosul, Iraq, where extremists have eliminated art, music, history, literature, and classes about Christianity from the curriculum, reports CBS. So far, families in the second-largest city in Iraq have responded by keeping their children home. Homeschooling has become a popular option. “What’s important to us now is ... Read More »

Christians in ‘China’s Jerusalem’ Are Fighting Church Demolitions

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Dramatic footage shows congregation battling riot police Dramatic footage obtained by CNN shows Christians in the southeastern Chinese city of Wenzhou barricading themselves into their church to keep hundreds of riot police at bay and save their church cross from confiscation. Since the beginning of the year, Communist Party officials have been demolishing churches in surrounding Zhejiang province, and removing ... Read More »

It’s Time for the Kurds to Set Up Their Own Nation

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Before welcoming the emerging state of Kurdistan in northern Iraq, I confess to having opposed its independence in the past. In 1991, after the Kuwait War had ended and as Saddam Hussein attacked Iraq’s 6 million Kurds, I made three arguments against American intervention on their behalf, arguments still commonly heard today: First, Kurdish independence would spell the end of ... Read More »

What’s New About the New Greek Galleries at MFA?

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Do people learn more at art museums when chronology governs a display or when a thematic narrative rules? It’s a perennial question, and traditionally many museums with extensive collections answer it with the former because, with a broad, deep array of art in a particular category, they can. Less well-endowed collections have often gone the thematic route simply because they ... Read More »

Race to protect Australia’s rock art: ‘I don’t know if we need to do an ice bucket challenge or what’

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Half the country’s rock paintings – some dating back 30,000 years – could disappear within 50 years, experts warn. Oliver Milman meets the Indigenous rangers and researchers working to protect delicate sandstone from the triple threat of mining, graffiti and feral animalsHalf the country’s rock paintings – some dating back 30,000 years – could disappear within 50 years, experts warn. Oliver Milman meets the ... Read More »